Posts Tagged ‘Kew gardens’

A week-end in London: June 08-10, 2012

Bye-bye Jubilee, hello Olympic Games. What a year for the Union Jack, flags flying in the breeze from Oxford Street to Covent Garden, decoarting everything from pubs to bikes… This week-end, our ideas for London include a few green ones, just in case you cannot take any more blue, white and red.

Take the little ones along:
* How about a kids special open air movie? It’s free!

* Make a detour via the Science Museum to introduce them to classical music.

A little touch of green:
* Go green and visit places usually closed to the public during the Open Garden Square week-end.

* Loved the ceramic flowers at the Somerset House? Go and see these new artistic blooms.

* Be green at this eco-friendly fair in Regent’s Park.

* Marvel at David Nash’s natural sculptures at Kew Gardens. Amazing.

Out of the ordinary:
* Try a biscuit-astic festival.

* On Thursday,  join the Puma creative factory exhibition at Boxpark. 12 artists have imagined a design for the new First round sneakers.

It does not come cheap but if you ever dreamt of sleeping with the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (without the kids), here is your chance.

* Do you love to ride your bike through London? Ever thought of  joining the World Naked Bike Ride?

* Rainy week-end? Go and see the best anime movies at the BFI.

* Did you know Joseph Grimaldi’s grave is musical?

A week-end in London: Feb 03-05, 2012

An Argentinian dream with Midnight Tango. Such a glamourous, seductive dance. Dresses seem to be flying around the dancers. And when the music speeds up, so does your heart, and so do the heels on the stage. Exceptional skills, not only of  Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent and Flavia but of the whole troup. Do go and see it.

That’s art, baby!
* Knitting obsession.
* Step back in David Lynch‘s world.
* Redefine art.
* A poetic page.

Yummy time ahead:
* A special one for meat lovers.
* A suivre, donc! Try Pierre Hermé‘s new macaron: Jardin enchanté (Enchanted garden). Lime cream, a heart of cherries, a touch of Espelette chilli to wake up the tastebuds. There will be a different edition on the garden theme every month – do not miss any!

Love, love, love:
* Add some glitter with Tatty Devine on Thursday.
* 50 romantic ideas in London.

Take the little ones along:
* Get those roller skates out and spend a disco time with the family.
* Re-celebrate the Chinese New year.
* The Somerset House too has craft workshops for kids this week-end

Royal London:
* Discover Queen Elisabeth II’s life through Cecil Beaton’s pictures of her. At the V&A until April 22, 2012.

So British:
* The best pubs in London? Click this way. Cheers.
* This week-end, your pint could also be rock’n’roll.

Out of the ordinary:
* Daniel Radcliffe fan? Meet him Thursday evening.
* Walk through Dickens‘ world (free, no need to book)
* Street art gets colourful with Jimmy C.
* London plays the high tech card (yeah, it seems we have a budget for that)
* Saturday, see the best slices of Bollywood movies.
* Meet the London clowns and tip your hat to Grimaldi.
* Follow the street art. Litterally.
* Tropical extravagance at Kew Gardens.
* After the Chinese New Year, the Russian one. This will be on Sunday and on Trafalgar.
* Snowdrops are already blooming at the Chelsea Physics Garden.

A glimpse of Australia at the British Museum

Every year, the British Museum and Kew Gardens work together on a themed garden.
Why? To put forward one of the countries present in their historical collections and make it more real to the public – for example by highlightinh a particular tree used in a sculpture.

Australia is joining the party this year, bringing a touch of exotism. This is the best one yet -  colourful and truly different. Fern trees, eucalyptus but also desert everlastings (bright yet completely dry blooms) or kangaroo paws (shaped as the animal’s foot).

Don’t stay too long: the more you look at it, the more you feel like jumping on a plane!

British Museum
Great Russell Street
Until October 16, 2011 -  free

Post-it for the week-end: Feb 04-06, 2011

Gosh, so many things coming up you might need to add a few pages to your agenda for the week-end!

- Join me in my week-end celebration: isn’t an afternoon tea with a view ideal?

- Fascinating scientific and robotic creations

- Kew Gardens turns tropical!

- Brunch in Brixton village…

- The kids will love to learn some Chinese calligraphy… or lanterns

- Pssst: it’s Nutella world day on Saturday -  get a lovely pancake here!

- Have tea with a legend

- Where did you put that red nose?

- Frankenstein turns to the theatre stage

- Meet the new generation of artists… Wait, are those for sale?

- Get hungry @ the V&A Childhood Museum

- A romantic snowdrop walk

- Love alternative restaurants? This one can be all yours

- Come and see dragons dance for the Chinese New Year on Trafalgar! Selfridge’s celebrates it with music

- Keep it real @ the Whitechapel Gallery…

- Get those little fingers busy

Kew garden’s butterfly house

Nothing looks as elegant as a butterfly’s dance. The fluttering of wings is a poem in itself.

Step in the tropical conservatory and you will come across fabulous butterflies flying free right around you – a magical experience indeed. Some will go from flower to flower, otheres rest on a leaf, drink from a plate of fruit slices… Kids gasp amazed and cameras are zooming around. A gassed house presents a nature lesson: caterpillars preparing their silk cocoons, butterflies just coming out of their chrysalid.

Of course, the Natural History Museum also has a similar attraction -Butterfly explorers , open for the second year in a row. More central, exactly same principle. But it looks… temporary, the vegetation was planted only for a few months survival. @ Kew, the conservatory is there permanently, the vegetation is settled, here a lily pond, there tropical flowers blooming and at the back banana trees. Ideal and really tropical. The entry fee is more expensive (£13.50 for Kew against £6 for the Butterfly explorers) but you will access so much more – 121 acres of gardens, Victorian conservatories, promenade in the tree tops… A day will not be enough to see it all!

Kew gardens
Princess of Wales conservatory
Victoria Gate
Kew Road
Surrey TW9 3AB

Fee to visit the whole park: £13.50/adult, kids go free.
Butterflies will happily fly around the conservatory until Sept 05, 2010.

Butterfly explorers
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road

Until September 26, 2010
£6/adult, £4/child,  free for under 3s.

Plantastic – a new play area @ Kew Gardens

Fancy exhausting your kids @ Kew Gardens?

Start with a lovely picnic -  plenty of trees with branches falling to the ground, make great shelters for the children (meaning you can eat in peace for once)
Then climb the 118 steps to the tree tops and walk right under the sky
Now, walk even further, to the new play area, Plantastic

What’s on?

A nice collection of mushrooms to climb on…

Plenty of adventures: wooden totems, mysteries in wooden trunks, bouncy new friends, mazes…

Games to fly like a bee…

Or see life from up high..

Let alone tunnels going underground. Kids will also learn about biodiversity and how to attract insects and butterflies to their garden…

Er, parents? Oh, they’ve crashed a long time ago on one of those lovely benches…

Kew gardens
Victoria Gate
Kew Road
Surrey TW9 3AB

Psssst: looking for another fab playground? Try Kensington Gardens: there is one themed on Peter Pan and dedicated to Lady Di. Really great.

Walking in the tree tops @ Kew Gardens

Londoners often sigh when looking at the entrance fee for Kew Gardens. 121 hectares of splendid land for sure, splendid Victorian greehouses of course… but £13.50? More than a trendy exhibition? When one has Hyde Park and Kensington gardens nearby? Let alone that this is not central London and that you need all your Vitamin C if you’re planning to take public transports with a pushchair…

The last few years, the park has done its best to seduce families again. Summer festivals, concerts in the summer, temporary exhibitions, free entry for kids… and even a great interactive covered play area where parents will gain at least an hour of peace no matter what the weather turns out to be.

Our favourite, the one that for us is worth every single penny of the ticket remains the tree topwalk. No way to beat this.

From afar, you only notice tree trunks.Come closer and you will glimpse rust-coloured pillars. Look up -  meet Xstrata (who the hell chose that name?), a walk that will take you 18 metres up (118 steps or a quick lift ride depending on your energy of the day) and which was built in 2008 by the same architects that did the London Eye.

Here you are, same level as the highest branches of those 200 years old chestnut trees… The kids love it. Engravings  at kids levels explain biodiversity, the role of seeds and birds. Afar, you can just make London profile, Wembley stadium and on good days even the gherkin. You’re right between the last leaves and the sky. A Peter pan feeling, freedom, everything seems possible…

You instinctively touch the limes, oaks leaves with a sudden tenderness for those green giants. Kids love it too, gasp at the height, and will afterwards look at the forest differently, slightly in awe. They had never quite understood how tall those trees were. Neither had you, for the matter. My 4 and 1/2 princess will ask to go round again, pleeeeaaaase. Imagine how beautiful it must be in winter, all frosty or even better snowy!

200 metres of promenade that one would really love to go further accross the park. Get back to earth? Sure, but we’ll keep stars twinkling in our eyes…

Kew gardens
Victoria Gate
Kew Road
Surrey TW9 3AB

Fee: £13.50/adult, kids go free
If you come by car, choose a Sunday, parking in the street will be free. Do come early though, spaces go fast!


This Week End in London

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